How to Get More Followers on Twitter

While you may see Twitter as the place to keep up with your friends and retweet your favorite celebrities, the popular social media site can also give you the opportunity to get up close and personal with potential employers. According to Tom Dezell, career expert and author of Networking for the Novice, Nervous, or Naive Job Seeker, Twitter is “a great way to expand your networking contacts, as it’s the one social media program that doesn’t require permission to follow.”

Of course, the key to Twitter is having a good following, and for us non-celebs, figuring out how to get people to follow you can be tricky. Check out our tips for maximizing your Twitter following—and who knows, one of your new followers could be the link between you and a job offer!

Follow effectively

In order to get not just more followers, but the right followers, you need to be smart about who you choose to follow. You want your “following” list to be professional, and if you follow potential networking contacts on Twitter, they may see that you’re a student interested in their field and follow you back!

According to Lauren Berger, an entrepreneur and the CEO of Intern Queen, “you should follow friends, people you admire, your favorite brands and potential employers.” Make a list of the companies that you would love to work for and then follow their Twitter accounts, as well as those of hiring managers and key personnel.

This also gives you the opportunity to get direct access to potential job or internship postings as soon as they’re shared, which increases your chances of snagging the job. “Studies show that 50 percent of eventual hires apply for openings within the first seven days of posting, so the sooner you learn, the better,” Dezell says. He also says that you can “learn of job leads on sites such as TweetMyJobs.com and TwitJobSearch.com. This provides immediate, real-time openings.”

According to Dezell, “Many companies post openings on their Twitter and other social media sites prior to or in lieu of posting on job boards. If the company receives enough quality candidates for the job from this, they have no need to post the opening any further.”

Another technique is to use the benefits of technology to your advantage. “Once Twitter sees patterns in who you follow, it will recommend similar professional groups and companies for you to consider following as well, allowing you to expand your network even further,” Dezell says.

Target your audience

Target your audience by following people with similar interests to you. These are the people who are going to care the most about what you have to say. For example, if you’re an advocate for feminism, follow people who follow celebrities like Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) or Tavi Gevinson (@tavitulle), who are both strong believers in gender equality and girl power. They will be more likely to follow you back when they see that you share a mutual interest!

Make the most of your bio

The top of your profile is the first thing that everyone is going to see, and it should immediately tell them what you’re all about. If there’s nothing there, they have no reason to follow you!

Whether you want to keep your bio short and sweet or go into more detail, make sure it gives people an idea of what you’re passionate about. Susannah Hine, a student at UC Irvine, says that you should “convey your interests on your Twitter bio. This will encourage people with similar interests to follow you.”

According to Berger, “your Twitter profile should be professional but fun—just make sure it’s appropriate, and be creative!” If you have a personal blog, you have an online portfolio, or you write for a publication, make sure to include a link to those sites in your bio so that your followers can find samples of your work instantly. On the flip side, you should post your Twitter handle on your other social media bios, such as in your Instagram bio, in order to direct as much traffic to your profile as possible.

Keep it professional

It can be tempting to rant about a horrible professor or share your enthusiasm about the upcoming rivalry game with a few four-letter words, but before you type, think about who is reading your tweets and how the content of those tweets will reflect on you. Dezell stresses that maintaining professionalism on Twitter is crucial. “Employers will judge your professionalism by the quality of what you write and share,” he says. If employers see your unprofessional tweets, they’re not likely to want to follow you.

If there is a link to your Twitter on your LinkedIn profile, remember that potential employers looking at your page will be clicking on that link.  Before applying to jobs or internships, it’s a good idea to do a little “spring cleaning” and delete anything that could give people a negative impression of you. If you need help figuring out what to delete, try an app like Socioclean. For more tips on how to keep your social media accounts looking professional, check out our article on social media slip-ups and how to fix them.

Engage with other users

If there’s one thing our generation understands, it’s technology and social media, which means that we have an advantage when it comes to getting jobs. “Employers want to see that you know how to use popular social media tools: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.,” Berger says. “They want to understand how our generation uses these tools to engage others. It’s important that they see you using these tools consistently, professionally and in unique ways.”

Berger explains that by following the companies that you would like to work for, “you can get a feel for their tone and become familiar with recent press clippings and what the company is up to.” This way, you are better informed to respond to these tweets and offer your own opinion or take on what they’re talking about. If potential employers are asking questions to their followers, Berger says that you should “reply and engage!”

Dezell also believes in the importance of interacting through Twitter. “Engage in positive interactions (conversations and sharing) with employers and hiring managers,” he says. “Praise them for achievements and positive projects. Include them on your own recommended lists. Follow conversations and look for ways to reply that can showcase your expertise.”

Don’t underestimate the power of tweeting at a user with a large following! As Sarah Wainschel, a junior at Gonzaga University, found, putting yourself out there can create positive results for your career (and your follower number!). “For Halloween this year, I dressed up as the T-Mobile Girl and tweeted a picture of me in my costume to the actual T-Mobile Girl,” she says. “She ended up retweeting it, and I got at least 20 new followers that night.”

Be unique

Standing out to an employer is a surefire way to land yourself a job, or at least an interview. It can be hard to convey to a company who you are on paper, but Twitter allows you an extra forum in which to highlight your personality. Develop a voice that is purposeful and unique. Give people something to expect from you, whether it’s witty quips about relevant news, bad dad jokes or relatable awkward experiences. In a way, it’s like building a personal brand that will result in a following of people who value and respect your opinion.

Learn the art of the #hashtag. Yes, excessive hashtagging can make you want to give up on social media forever and throw your computer out a window, but when used correctly, hashtagging can increase your number of followers. Check out what’s trending, and if you have something creative to say about it, say it!

According to Berger, “you want to be unique. Don’t tweet the same thing that others are tweeting.” Live tweet the big events that you know everyone is watching, because if your creative and hilarious tweet about the VMAs stands out, chances are that people are going to see that and want to follow you.

The content of what you’re tweeting should include links and images that your followers can interact with. “Tweet interesting articles,” Berger says. “Always think, ‘How can I add value [for] my followers?’”

When used effectively, Twitter can be a valuable resource for creating an online presence, networking with potential employers and even landing a job. Although there’s not an exact science to gaining followers, using these tips will increase your visibility to employers and put you on the path to career success.

About The Author

Kelsey is a junior at The Ohio State University where she majors in Journalism. She serves as an Editorial Intern and Contributing Writer for Her Campus, and also writes for U lala. Her hobbies include loitering in cafés, watching '80s movies, and obsessing over British boys with perfect hair. After graduation, Kelsey hopes to work for a fashion magazine or lifestyle publication. You can follow Kelsey on Twitter (@kelseypomeroy) and Instagram (@kelseypomeroy).

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